Flyers

Best of NHL: Nicklas Backstrom racks up 4 points as Capitals top Devils

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Best of NHL: Nicklas Backstrom racks up 4 points as Capitals top Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and three assists and the Washington Capitals knocked the surprising New Jersey Devils from the unbeaten ranks with a 5-2 victory Friday night.

T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist, and Alex Ovechkin scored his ninth of the season and set up Backstrom's power-play tally to help Washington hand New Jersey its first loss in four games.

Jacub Vrana also scored for the Capitals, and Braden Holtby had 21 saves. Washington is 8-0-1 in its last nine games against New Jersey.

Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils, who had surprised many with their quick start after finishing in the basement in the Eastern Conference last season. Cory Schneider made 23 saves, getting beat three times on the power play (see full recap).

Anderson, Senators rout Flames
CALGARY, Alberta -- Craig Anderson made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season and 39th overall in the Ottawa Senators' 6-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Cody Ceci, Mark Stone and Derrick Brassard each had a goal and an assist, Mike Hoffman, Ryan Dzingel and Chris Wideman also scored, and Kyle Turris had three assists.

Mike Smith was pulled from Calgary's net after giving up five goals on 22 shots in 47:48. Eddie Lack mopped up the final eight minutes, giving up Wideman's goal.

The Flames were shut out for the second time this season. After being blanked 3-0 in Edmonton in their opener, they had won three straight.

Anderson's best stop came early in the third. Matthew Tkachuk got behind the defense but, as he went to his backhand, Anderson closed the pads. Four of his stops came against Jaromir Jagr in the 45-year-old's home debut. Jagr's best chance came when he was set up from behind the net by Sam Bennett (see full recap).

Blue Jackets rally to beat Rangers
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Artemi Panarin and Seth Jones scored to rally the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Zach Werenski had two assists and Lukas Sedlak added an empty-net goal for Columbus.

Panarin, acquired from Chicago in the offseason, got his first goal with the Blue Jackets. He snaked through the defense and beat goaltender Henrik Lundqvist between the pads 7:25 into the third for a 2-1 lead. He's tied for the team lead with four points.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 37 saves for Columbus, and Lundqvist stopped 40 shots.

Kevin Hayes scored for New York with 5:25 left in the first period. Hayes intercepted Jones' drop pass and charged on a breakaway, beating Bobrovsky on his glove side.

Jones made amends with 45 seconds left in the second by snapping a shot from the left wall that hit the Rangers' Mika Zibanejad in the shin. Lundqvist was caught lunging the other way, and the deflected shot bounced in off the post to make it 1-1.

The Blue Jackets opened the third with an 11-0 shot advantage in the first six minutes but couldn't solve Lundqvist until Panarin broke the tie (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Nick Bjugstad stars in Panthers' shootout win over Maple Leafs

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USA Today Images

Best of NHL: Nick Bjugstad stars in Panthers' shootout win over Maple Leafs

SUNRISE, Fla. — Nick Bjugstad scored Florida's only goal in regulation and the game-winning goal in a shootout as the Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Bjugstad skated in and held the puck until Toronto goalie Frederick Andersen was sprawled out, then moved to his right and flipped in his goal during the fourth round of the shootout.

The Panthers won the tiebreaker 2-1 after Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida, and Patrick Marleau was successful for Toronto.

Vincent Trocheck and Henrik Haapala had assists for the Panthers (8-11-2).

Nazem Kadri netted a goal for Toronto (14-8-1), assisted by Connor Brown and Marleau (see full recap).

Forsberg, Turris lead Predators past Habs in SO
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Filip Forsberg scored a pair of power-play goals and Kyle Turris had the only goal in a shootout to lead the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the struggling Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Pekka Rinne made 27 saves in regulation and overtime, then denied all three Montreal shootout attempts as Nashville won for the eighth time in nine games.

Jordie Benn and Joe Morrow scored for the Canadiens, who have lost their last five. Morrow's goal evened the score with less than a minute left in the third period.

In the tiebreaker, Turris beat Antti Niemi with a wrist shot between the pads (see full recap)

Anderson's goal in OT gives Blue Jackets win
COLUMBUS, Ohio — After missing training camp because of a contract dispute, Josh Anderson has performed at a consistently high level for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Anderson scored two minutes into overtime to give Columbus its fifth straight win, 1-0 over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 22 saves for Columbus in his third shutout this season and 22nd of his career. Mike Smith turned away 40 shots for Calgary.

It was the first time this season that either team ended regulation scoreless (see full recap)

Point scores in overtime as Lightning beat Blackhawks
TAMPA, Fla. — Falling behind Chicago and staging a comeback has become the norm for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Brayden Point scored a power-play goal 3:25 into overtime, and the Lightning rallied again to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Point took a pass from Steven Stamkos while positioned near the post and put the winner past Corey Crawford and complete a three-goal rally.

"To be down 2-0 to a team as good as Chicago, it was a great bounce-back performance," Stamkos said.

Chicago was short-handed after Nick Schmaltz was sent off for slashing at 3:10 (see full recap)

Flyers suffer heartbreaking overtime loss to extend skid to 6

Flyers suffer heartbreaking overtime loss to extend skid to 6

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- The book entitled “Finding Different Ways to Lose” is growing thicker by the game.

Josh Bailey scored on his own rebound just 32 seconds into overtime to give the Islanders the extra point and a 4-3 overtime win over the Flyers on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center (see observations). The Flyers appeared to have the play covered until defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere lost track of Bailey, who missed on his first attempt but converted on his second effort to hand the visitors a sixths straight defeat.

“Everyone goes through different struggles,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “There’s a growing rule for everybody. Right now, Ghost is one of the elder statesmen on the back end there and sometimes that has a way of putting extra weight on your shoulders. I just think it’s a stretch that he’s going to get through. He’s doing a lot of really good things. He’s just got to get back to where he was before he was out a few games with that injury.”

In the eight games since returning from an injury where he was slammed hard into the boards in Toronto, Gostisbehere has struggled mightily in the defensive end. However, the Flyers’ problems over the course of their current six-game losing streak extend well beyond just one player. The penalty kill has completely fallen apart as the team has allowed seven power-play goals in the last three games. The units have also killed off just four of the last 11 power-play chances.

It’s a two-fold problem. The Flyers are creating self-inflicting wounds and the penalty kill isn’t outworking the opponents’ power play unit. Of course, it didn’t help when Sam Morin, who making his season debut, gave the Islanders a two-man advantage when he flipped the puck into the stands for a delay of game penalty.

“We’re right there. We kind of put ourselves in another bad position when we took a 5-on-3,” goaltender Brian Elliott said. “It’s still biting us in the butt a little bit. I thought we played a really good game. I think we’re right there. We just need to turn that corner.”

“Can’t pinpoint one thing. It’s just got be better,” Wayne Simmonds said. “Yeah, they’re going to score. You take a ton of penalties, teams are good enough in this league. Individual skill in this league is through the roof. Guys are going to make plays, especially when they’re up a man. Best form of penalty kill is not to be in the box at all.”

Hakstol even elected to switch up his shorthanded personnel in an effort to create a different look and hopefully provide some beneficial change. The Flyers even attempted to light a fuse be calling up Morin and Danick Martel from Lehigh Valley. Martel had six attempted shots (three on net) in just 12 minutes of action in his NHL debut.

“You’ve got to be ready every game,” Martel said. “I got my chance today and I had a really good game and I’m proud of it. I think my stick was a bit tight today, so that’s why I missed the net a couple of times.”

The Flyers did finally receive some secondary scoring to complement their top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek. Coming into this game, that group had accounted for 46 percent of the team’s goal production. Taylor Leier opened the scoring with his first goal of the season and Michael Raffl scored his first point in 43 games with a breakaway goal that gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

“It’s a little bit different role playing with T.K. (Travis Konecny) and Fil (Valtteri Filppula) out there,” Raffl said. “You get a little more offensive looks and a little more ice time out there. You’ve got to take advantage of that. I feel pretty good out there. I’m fit. I have nothing bothering me right now, so that helps for sure. I told myself, scoring or not, you’ve got to play confident. You can’t get down on yourself.”

After consecutive shutouts to start the losing streak, the Flyers have scored the first goal in each of their last four games with an inability to play with a lead: 2-0 at Winnipeg, 3-1 vs. Calgary 1-0 vs. Winnipeg and 2-1 at New York Islanders.

Four games, four leads and just two points to show for it. 

“It stinks to work real hard to earn that point, and then we gave it away too easily,” Hakstol said. “That’s the part that hurts a little bit. I’m looking for growth in all the areas. Really, tonight, I was looking for the true test of the character of our team, and our team answered and played a helluva character game.”

Friday, it’s Chapter 2 against this same Islanders team. The Flyers are hoping it doesn’t continue to read like the rest.